Highland News Leader

Alhambra, Grantfork & New Douglas news for the week of Nov. 9


“Land of Smiles” program to visit primary school

Sporting a sparkly silver and green robe and wielding a giant toothbrush as his wand, Tooth Wizard will help students defeat the evil PlaqueMan at Alhambra Primary on Nov. 18. The wizard hero will lead the students on a journey into the “Land of Smiles,” the Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation program that teaches pre-kindergarten through third grade children how to win the battle against tooth decay.

Although largely preventable, tooth decay is the leading chronic childhood disease affecting children age 6 to 11, and according to the 2015 Delta Dental of Illinois Children’s Oral Health Survey, nearly one in four Illinois kids ages 6 to 12 missed school due to a dental problem.

An interactive and all-engaging oral health lesson, the “Land of Smiles” program encourages students to laugh and cheer along as they learn the habits needed to maintain their healthy smiles. Children are able to get in on the fun during the interactive performance, demonstrating how to correctly brush, floss and rinse with fluoride, causing PlaqueMan to scurry off the stage in defeat.

“‘Land of Smiles’ furthers our mission to improve the oral health of Illinois children,” said Lora Vitek, director of philanthropy and community relations for Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation. “It’s all about prevention and education is vital to prevention. The engaging and interactive way of learning that ‘Land of Smile’ promotes goes a long way in not only making kids aware of how to care for their teeth, but also gets them excited about making changes to their daily routine to help ensure a lifetime of good oral health.”

The free program not only emphasizes good oral hygiene techniques, but also teaches children the importance of eating tooth-friendly foods and regularly visiting the dentist. As nearly half of Illinois children have had at least one cavity in the past year, the program aims to make a positive difference in preventing tooth decay in children and encourage enthusiasm for healthy habits.

“We quiz students on their oral health knowledge before and after the program, and we’ve learned from the results that ‘Land of Smiles’ has a measurable influence on the importance they place on oral health,” said Vitek. “When students chant ‘brush, brush, brush’ to help Tooth Wizard defeat PlaqueMan at the turning point of the program, it’s clear that we’ve made learning about oral health fun and memorable.”

Tooth Wizard offers advice to help parents encourage good oral health habits for their children, too, including:

•Children should brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time.

•Once any two teeth are touching, children should floss their teeth once a day.

•Children should visit the dentist regularly, at least twice per year.

•Parents should discuss placing sealants on their child’s teeth with their dentist. Typically, sealants are placed on six-year and 12-year molars. A sealant is a thin invisible plastic coating that is applied to the molars to help protect them from tooth decay.

In addition to the lessons that will be learned and the memories that will be made, children who participate in “Land of Smiles” also receive an oral health kit containing a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and a booklet packed with oral health tips. Each school will also receive a curriculum kit to help its educators reinforce good oral health habits with their students throughout the year.

The “Land of Smiles” program will reach nearly 13,000 pre-kindergarten through third-grade students at 69 Illinois schools this fall. The program has educated more than 280,000 students at more than 850 Illinois schools in the past eight years.

Alhambra/Leef Homemakers to meet

The Alhambra/Leef Homemakers will meet on Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. to make Care Bears and Linus blankets.

Alhambra Primary Notes

Students at Alhambra Primary will have the opportunity to go through their own voting procedure this week. They will vote on their favorite cover for this year’s yearbook. This will give them a lesson on how the voting system works.

On Thursday, Nov. 10 from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m., the school will hold an assembly to honor veterans. Bell ringers from Hitz Home will be presenting some songs. Mrs. Barb Kay will talk about patriotic music. Guests are asked to enter through the school gym door at 10:15 a.m.

The next Domino’s fundraiser will take place on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Highland Domino’s. A percentage of sales will go to the Center Schools PTO.

The next Center Schools PTO meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 6:30 p.m. at Grantfork Elementary.

This year’s Christmas program will be on Thursday, Dec. 15. Kindergarten and first-grade program from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m., and second- and third-grade program will be from 7:30 to 8:15 p.m.

Flu Shot/Health Fair

A total of 25 vendors attended the Alhambra Health Fair this year, and a total of 157 shots were given. Flu shots were paid for by the Alhambra Township Board.

Community Club to elect officers

The regular monthly meeting of the Alhambra Community Club will be on Monday, Nov. 28 at Maedge’s Restaurant at 5:30 p.m. There will be a drawing for the winner of this year’s quilt at this meeting. Officers will be elected. Anyone interested in joining the Community Club are welcome to come to the meeting and will be under no obligations. Everyone is welcome.

Special Occasions


Happy anniversary to the follwing happy couples: Nov. 11, Mark and Kris Nagel; Nov. 15, Mark and Janelle Gelly and Brian and Jill Verson.


Happy birthday to everyone: Nov. 9, Dave Frueh; Nov. 10, Sandra Abert; Nov. 11, Jacob Becker, Bud Warfield, Danny Whitworth and Madison Frank; Nov. 12, Lisa Uhe and Cooper Eyman; Nov. 13, Neal Henschen, Aaron Trauernicht, Natalie Henschen and Crystal Uhe; Nov. 14,Cody Carroll, Hope Payne , Brandy Soens, Bud Warfield and Melissa Glassmaker-Becker; Nov. 15, Brian Duncan and Melanie Bonnell; Nov.16,Matthew Hooks, Annabelle Doubet and Sharon Payne; Nov. 17, Megan Pickerill, Daniel Reckman and Cory Carroll.


Centennial Committee to meet

Volunteers to help plan a celebration for the Grantfork 2017 Centennial are needed. A planning committee will meet at the Senior Center on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. Call Wendy Reinacher Heilig at 675-3472.

UCC to host sausage supper

The 47th annual Grantfork United Church of Christ Men’s Fellowship Sausage Supper will be held on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the church’s Educational Building.

The all-you-can-eat supper is served family style and features homemade pork sausage, mashed potatoes and milk gravy, sauerkraut, green beans, applesauce, bread and homemade pies.

Serving runs from 3 to 8 p.m. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12; children 5 and under eat free. Carry-outs are available at adult prices.

Fried sausage and fresh sausage will also be available for purchase.

A Country Corner, sponsored by the United For Others (UFO) group, will have selections of homemade items for sale.

Grantfork UCC Notes

Sausage supper set-up will begin at 5 p.m. on Nov. 10, and the sausage supper will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12.

There will be a worship service at Faith Countryside on Nov. 11 at 10 a.m.

Grantfork Elementary Notes

Students have been learning about the voting process and during the next week they will take part in a mock presidential election and also a chance to vote for their choice of cover for this year’s yearbook.

A Veterans Day Assembly will take place on Thursday, Nov. 10, and there will be no school on Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.

Domino's Pizza fundraiser will be on Nov. 15 at the Highland Domino’s.

The next PTO meeting will be held on Nov. 17 at Grantfork.

Classes at Grantfork school will be helping a needy family again this year. Information is being set home early so that the Black Friday sales may be utilized.

Grantfork Elementary’s fall scholastic book fair is scheduled for Nov. 28 through Dec. 2. One or two people to “chair” this event, which means coordinating the volunteers, are being sought. Two volunteers per day are need to work the fair. The fair is usually open first thing in the morning for 45 minutes to an hour. Each class will have the opportunity to visit each day. Volunteer forms will be coming home soon. If you’d like to help, email Susan Lutes at slutes@highlandcusd5.org.

St. Gertrude Catholic Church

St. Gertrude's Feast Day will be celebrated at Diamond Mineral Springs with a dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. The dinner will be provided by the parish. Sign-up sheets are at the back of the church.

New Douglas

Youth basketball coach sought

The New Douglas Rec Plex is looking for someone to coach basketball as a class for this winter. There are a number of young people who want to learn to really play basketball. The charge for the class for 10 weeks will be set at $18, and the coach receives a percentage of the class fees for teaching the class.

If you are interested and have good basketball teaching skills, call the Rec Plex at (217) 456-6132. The planned start date is the first week in January.

Rec Plex fall classes ending, winter ones to begin

Fall classes end at the New Douglas Rec Plex with the completion of classes on Nov. 12.

Sign up for winter classes will also begin that week. The first winter classes will be the week of Dec. 5, with two weeks of classes in December. There will then be a break for Christmas and New Year’s, and classes resuming the week of Jan. 9.

Current students should talk with teachers about signing up for winter classes, which will be a total of 10 weeks (December, January, and February) and spring classes, which will begin in March. Fliers will be available with the dates and times with the current teachers’ plans for ballet on Tuesdays and karate on Fridays. Tumbling and gymnastics information will be available the week of Nov. 7.

Contact the Rec Plex at (217) 456-6132 with any questions.

Fire department will install smoke detectors for free

The New Douglas Fire Department will participate in the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The department will be installing smoke alarms, provided by the American Red Cross, in the fire district for free.

If you haven’t already signed up at any of the local events, call the fire department at (217)456-6221, leave a message and a firefighter will get in contact with you.

The program allows three alarms per home. The alarms are powered with a sealed, 10-year-life lithium-ion battery that cannot, and does not need to be, changed as traditional alarms have been in the past.

To submit items to this column, email riepshoff@yahoo.com or call 488-7603 or (618) 910-9215.